PIBS 503: Research Responsibility & Ethics

Research Responsibility and Ethics (PIBS 503) will be taught in the fall term with sessions running Sept – Dec.
This course will be completely virtual this semester.

Responsible conduct of research (RCR) is defined as the practice of scientific investigation with integrity (NIH, NOT-OD-10-019). Learning about the responsible conduct of research is considered an essential component of research education and training. This course is designed to provide biomedical science graduate students and postdoctoral scholars an “awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research” (NIH, NOT-OD-10-019). Course materials include case studies, videos, and podcast lectures. Discussions will take place in small-group sessions offered at many different times throughout the semester with a faculty member. In addition, this course will comply with the National Institutes of Health; requiring a minimum of eight hours of face-to-face instruction in the responsible conduct of research.


NIH mandates 8 hours of discussion to include:

  • Fraud, Fabrication, and Plagiarism
  • Data Storage, Ownership, and Peer Review
  • Animal Use and Care
  • Human Subjects Research and IRBs
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Research in the Global Workplace
  • Dual Use Issues
  • Face-to-face discussion with PI about ethical practices particular to project/laboratory




Graduate Students: 

  • Register for PIBS 503 (1 credit) in Wolverine Access.

Postdoctoral Fellows, K99/K08 Awardees, UROP Students, PREP Scholars, and individuals renewing their training: 

  • Fill out this form.
  • DO NOT register for the course in Wolverine Access.
  • There is no fee for this class.
  • You will not receive a grade, and it will not appear on a university transcript.
  • You can receive a certificate of completion. 

Contact the course coordinator  with any questions.

NOTE: PEERRS (the online ethics course for faculty) does NOT satisfy this requirement for students and postdoctoral fellows according to the NIH.